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iTête à iTête – Interview with Charlie McHenry from Trilobyte Games – Like a phoenix, rising again from the flames of the AppStore
The App Store model has certainly revolutionized software development as a whole and games development in particular. Thanks to the extremely low entry cost and a centralized distribution system, it has become a launch pad for many new indie developers both successful and not so much. But that isn’t much of a surprise to anyone remotely familiar with the market. What’s more interesting is that this new platform actually allowed some veteran companies many thought long gone to get back together as well.
And of such phoenixes, born again from the flames of App Store, is Trilobyte Games – the company behind the legendary PC adventure – The 7th Guest (TMA Review), recently re-released for the iOS. Today I’m joined by Charlie McHenry, the current COO of Trilobyte, to talk about their resurrection, work on The 7th Guest, future plans, and more.
Every once in a while whenever I look at new releases on the App Store, I get a wave of nostalgia threatening to swipe me off my feet. I don’t care that the devs are just taking good old games and bringing them to the i-platform, I just care that they do it right. And what can compare to the joy of reliving those sweet memories on the Jesus phone? Especially if those memories have iii in them, as in the famous Gobliiins.
Ever since I found out that ScummVM had been ported to the iDevice one thing I always felt missing was the other clever piece of software, which was the last refuge for anyone wanting to play old games on their spanking new PC. I’m talking, of course, about DosBox. I even did some research and the devs said that it would be very difficult to do so due to some underlying engine specifics. Well, apparently one developer had loads of time on his hands, since a few days ago iDOS made a surprise appearance on the App Store — only to be hastily pulled down by Apple after a few hours. But guess what, it’s still available on Cydia under the name of DosPad!
Oh yeah, installation instructions after the break.
Hey there folks! Just a quick note that as promised in my limera1n tutorial yesterday, I’ve updated the very first JBnator Article on how to properly upgrade your iDevice to the latest and greatest iOS version without carrying over any bugs from the older ones. Like what bugs you might ask? Well for example, an update from iOS 3.x to 4.0 and restoring from a backup, it’s possible that users will experience vastly reduced battery life on the iPhones 3G/3GS/4, which is only fixed by setting it up as a new phone in iTunes. Enjoy!
One of the major announcements of the Sept 1st event was, of course, iOS 4.2. The eventual update will finally unify the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad under a single version, bringing the lucky owners of the dream tablet into the world of folders, multi-tasking, Game Center and more. And guess what – the first beta has just been released and clever and inquisitive minds all over the Apple community, willing to risk the stability of their iDevices, have already installed it and have begun exploring the new possibilities. Features uncovered after the gap.
A significant victory has recently been achieved over Apple’s incessant attempts to thwart jailbreaking. First unveiled by the infamous Geohot during the “Nuit du hacks” — one of the oldest and most famous French underground hacker’s conferences — the pwned4life exploit is claimed to make all current iOS devices jailbreakable forever. Unfortunately George Hotz himself has since left the iPhone arena but his work is being continued by pod2g, responsible for the 24kpwn exploit that first made the iPod Touch 2G jailbreak possible and who has already confirmed that all iOS devices up to the latest iPod Touch 4G are indeed susceptible to it.
Probably the most advertised “flaw” of the iPhone is, of course, Flash (or lack thereof). Well, at least until the recent Antennagate Anyhow, after the whole Apple vs Adobe saga over the last year or so, one would be safe to assume that hell will freeze over before the infamously resource-hungry platform finds it’s way onto the iOS. Well, it seems it’s time for the Devil to start shopping for a new pair of wooly underwear because Comex, the developer responsible for the most recent iDevice jailbreak, has just updated Frash – the port of the Android flash player for the iOS.
George Hotz, better known as Geohot and author of the infamous blackra1n jailbreak and unlock tool that set a new standard for ease of use and speed of jailbreaking back in early autumn 2009, has officially hung his metaphorical boxing gloves in the closet.
In a historical amendment to the DMCA rules, Jailbreaking has finally been made officially legal, without all of the ifs, buts and uncertainties of the past. According to the copyright office:
The Librarian of Congress has announced the classes of works subject to the exemption from the prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works. Persons making noninfringing uses of the following six classes of works will not be subject to the prohibition against circumventing access controls (17 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1)) until the conclusion of the next rulemaking…
Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset….
Computer programs, in the form of firmware or software, that enable used wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telecommunications network, when circumvention is initiated by the owner of the copy of the computer program solely in order to connect to a wireless telecommunications network and access to the network is authorized by the operator of the network.
What does all of this hubbub mean exactly? Well, it means no one will be able to prosecute neither the developers of the jailbreak and unlock tools, like Geohot or the Dev Team, nor any users of such tools, namely you and I. Furthermore, any applications, not infringing on copyright (read purchased through Cydia and the like) regardless of the channels they have been acquired through are allowed as well.
We don’t care!
Today, there are many different “to do” apps in the App Store. Everything from a tweaked notepad app, to a full fledged list/chart/reminder/push notifications/etc type app wallows with its pushy digital brethren. Today I got my hands on something that’s a more or less in the middle. Developer IWonderPhone’s app, Voodo – Todo Magic, is an interesting todo app that incorporates a lot of great features without packing on the unnecessary garbage. From the outside looking in, Voodoo Todo itself seems promising. Read on to see if Voodo had the magic touch.